‘Everything is copy’ – that was Nora Ephron’s famous dictum. And for better or worse, comedians are expert at mining their personal lives (and those of others) for the sake of comedy.
But is it fair – let alone funny – to use real-life events for the sake of a punchline? Do different rules apply for women when it comes to writing about personal stuff?
At this year’s Jeez Louise talk, in partnership with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, we’ll discuss these questions with a panel of top comedians and comedy writers. Has Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette changed the way comedians, especially female comedians, tell personal stories? And where else, if not your own life, do you get ideas for comedy anyway?
Find out – with host Louise Swinn and guests Em Rusciano, Cassie Workman and Joanne Brookfield.
Presented in partnership with Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Louise Swinn is a writer, publisher, critic, literary event chair and the editor of Choice Words: A Collection of Writing About Abortion (Allen and Unwin, 2019). Her work appears regularly in the Age, the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald. She was one of the founders of Sleepers Publishing, the Small Press Network and the Stella Prize.
Journalist, writer, comedian, producer, publicist; in one way or another Joanne Brookfield has spent her entire career moving within the world of comedy, so it makes complete sense that her first book should be about women in comedy.
Joanne interviewed 60 women for No Apologies: Women in Comedy Claiming their Space, Finding their Voice and Telling their Stories, which is now available in bookstores across Australia.
Cassie Workman is probably the most experienced newcomer to comedy in the country, owing to the fact that she previously performed under another name. She has recently returned to the stage after beginning her transition, and is already making waves.
Cassie Workman is known for her heartfelt and emotive storytelling, her incisive wit, and brutal deconstructions of the status quo. There is no other voice like hers in comedy today.
Em Rusciano is one of Australia’s most well-rounded performers. With her finger in every piece of the performing pie, Em co-hosts breakfast radio, sells out the Sydney Opera House with her live comedy shows, releases chart-topping songs, books, and audiobooks, and most importantly, wields a Bedazzling gun like no one else on Earth.
Em’s first book Try Hard went to the top of the iBook autobiography charts before it was even released. The refreshingly honest memoir received stunning acclaim from critics and fans alike, leading to a second reprint with three brand new chapters one year after the original release. Em’s recorded audiobook version also reached the top of the iTunes charts immediately, as did her two singles, 'Brand New Day' and 'Versions Of Me'.